The Idols Of Ehud

The story of Ehud the Judge in Judges 3 is framed by two statements about his mission to free Israel from King Eglon of Moab. The first is the statement, “[Ehud] turned back at the idols near Gilgal” (Judges 3:19). This was when Ehud turned back after offering tribute to get Eglon’s attention. Then, after killing Eglon with a short sword, the text says, “Ehud escaped while they delayed, and he passed beyond the idols and escaped to Seirah” (Judges 3:26).

The story is framed this way to demonstrate that the false idols of Ehud’s day were no match for the God of Israel or he whom God had called to save his people. He entered the city near the idols that had no way to protect Eglon, and he passed by again during his escape and they could not capture him. As the scripture says elsewhere, “They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat” (Pslam 115:5-7).

So too, the false religions of our day are in the same condition as the idols during ancient times. Whether Buddhism, Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, or any other “ism” of our day, they are all false religions that offer no hope of escape from the effects or punishment of sin. They are vain belief systems, vain idols, that can do nothing for their adherents. There has only ever been one image of deity that can offer hope: Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). He is not only like the Father, he is also like us, having been born as a man, lived a life as a man, died as a man, but raised from the dead as so much more. He saves and he condemns. And right now his mission, through his people, is to save.

Don’t be afraid of what people of other faiths might say or do. Though opposition can be unpleasant, the day will come when all false idols will be judged and only Jesus will be left standing and his people with him. Speak of him as often as you can that others might come to know him too. And just like Ehud, you will have peace (Judges 3:30).

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